HISTORY OF RAMAPURAM
www.ramapuram.info
Ramapuram is a beautiful village with an illustrious past and a rich heritage. It is a special grade Panchayat located at the North East side of Kottayam District, bordering Ernakulam and Idukki Districts. It spreads over an area of 54.54 sq.km. sheltering 33000 people which amounts to 0.14 percent of the total area and 0.11 percent of the population of the state of Kerala. Ramapuram is under Pala Assembly Constituency and Kottayam Parliament Division. The area comes under Uzhavoor Development Block and consists of all the areas of Ramapuram and Vellilappilly Villages in Meenachil Taluk. The Block Panchayat includes whole of Ramapuram, Pazhamala and certain parts of Uzhavoor Division. The District Panchayat Division is Ramapuram. It has an area of 12 Sq.km. each from Nellappara, the boundary of Idukki District in the North to Chakkampuzha in the South and from Anthyalam in the East to Parathod in the West. There are 18 Panchayat wards and 36 election booths.
RAMAPURAM TOWN Ramapuram Town, the centre of the Panchayat has an area of 1½ k.m. between St. Augustine’s Church facing the West and Ramapuram Sree Ramaswamy Temple facing the East. The Koothattukulam - Pala Road to the South and Thodupuzha road to the North- one km each from the church junction constitute the Town. Important Educational Institutions and Government offices are situated near the church junction. The St. Augustine’s Higher Secondary School is at the Southern side and the Sacred Heart Girls High School is towards the North of the church. Mar Augusthinose College, the prestigious institution established in 1995, is situates beside the Marangad road to the South of the church and to the Pala road. The Government Hospital and Veterinary Hospital are 200 meters North of the church junction. The 33 KV Electricity Sub Station is at Varakukala, between the church and temple junctions. The Panchayat Office is at the opposite side of the Government Hospital. The Office of the Circle Inspector of Police, Sub Inspector of Police, Assistant Educational Office, Sub Registrar Office, KSEB Section Office, Ramapuram Bazar Post Office, and the Agriculture Office are the important Government Offices. The Ramapuram Village Office is near the Temple and Vellilappilly Village Office is at Vellilappilly, 1½ km. South to the Church junction. The old market is at the Centre of Ramapuram. The branches of State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of India, Kottayam District Co-operative Bank, Meenachil Taluk Urban Bank, North Malabar Brahmin Bank and the Kerala State Financial Enterprises are situated at the centre of the town. There are other financial institutions like Muthoot Bank, Kosamattam Finance, and Teachers Co-operative Society. Besides these the old Sreelakshmi Theatre, Panchayat Community Hall, Private Bus Stand and two petrol pumps highlight the status of Ramapuram Town.
THE NAME OF RAMAPURAM Ramapuram is a name that evolved out of the Sanskrit influence. In Kerala most of the names of places and families follow the Dravidian style. The Sanskrit name ‘Ramapuram’ is related to Sree Rama Temple. It is believed that the temple of Sree Rama was built only after 12th Century A D. But there is no doubt regarding human habitation in this area before that. The presence of various Devi Temples, equally ancient as Sree Rama temple is clear evidence. So it can be concluded that the place is named after Sree Ramaswamy Temple. The advertisement of postal department shows that there are more than 100 post offices in India with the name, ‘Ramapuram’. Almost all these places are related to the name of Lord Rama. Many legends are there claiming the presence of Sree Rama. But with a historical sense one can say that Ramapuram got its name from Sree Ramaswamy temple.
EARLY INHABITANTS OF RAMAPURAM There are many evidences for human habitation at Ramapuram from ancient Sangha period onwards. In the 3rdcentury B.C. during the period of Ashoka, Buddhism spread in Kerala. The inscriptions on the pillars of Ashoka show that centres were built for the treatment of men and animals. Sangha was the golden age of Buddhism in Kerala. After 6thcentury A.D. Brahmanism got strengthened and as a result Buddhist centres declined in Kerala. In the 9th century, till the period of Sankaracharya, Buddhism and Jainism declined in Kerala. The people who lived in the tradition of Buddhism were considered as backward by the Hindus. From the common historical background of Kerala, it can be observed that a statue of Buddha belonging to Sangha period having five feet height was escavated from Kondadu Pallikkandathil. This padmasana statue of Sree Buddha was taken to the archaeological department. The word ‘Palli’ is related to Buddhism, meaning the place of worship and ‘Pallian’ means Buddha. There are places like Palliyampuram, Pallikandam, Pallipparambu, etc. in Ramapuram related to Buddhism. For the existence of such a Buddhist centre at Ramapuram, it is concluded that there was human habitation at Ramapuram even during the Sangha period. After the Sangha period and from A.D. 800 to A.D. 1102 during the period of second Chera rule, there was remarkable development in human life at Ramapuram. As seen in the writings of Sankaracharya and Bharat dig Vijaya Charitha, Saiva-Vaishnava religions got initiated in Kerala during this period. Caste system and marumakkathayam lost its ground. Saiva-Vaishnava temples were constituted, overpowering Buddhist establishment. The impact of these changes in Ramapuram can be seen in a large number of temples and ‘Kavs’ in the area. It was in the 10th century A.D. that Malayalam began to evolve into as an independent language from the original Dravidian language. ‘Kodunthamizhu’ (‘Nadodithamizhu’) was the language of the Keralites during that period. Parallel to the growth of ‘Chenthamizhu’ as a literary language in various parts of Tamilnadu, a mixed language with Sanskrit influence originated in Kerala and that became Malayalam. From 12th Century onwards Malayalam became an independent language, entirely different from Tamil. The area East to Sahya Mountain was included in the Chera Empire and after the decline of the empire , the area West to Sahya mountain was divided. This has been pointed out by A.R. Raja RajaVarma in Kerala Panineeyam. After the 12th century Malayalam literature bifurcated as Manipravalam and song. In the 16th century during the time of Ezhuthachan, the integration of these two resulted in the formation of modern Malayalam language. Though Manipravalam existed during the period of Attakatha, it was only a verse branch of the rich Malayalam literature. “Kuchelavrutham Vanchippattu”, written by Ramapurath Varyar during the time of Attakatha is an example for the influence on the developments in Malayalam language at Ramapuram. A full-fledged Malayalam language can be seen in these poems. The “Varthamana Pustakam” written and published in the 18th century by Paremmakkal Thommakkathanar is the first travelogue in Indian languages. These literary significant works reveal the cultural progress of Ramapuram during the period.
CHURCHES IN RAMAPURAM From 13th century onwards, the social life of people in Ramapuram was enriched by the influence of Christianity. Before that, it is believed that there existed certain Christian family groups called ‘Mappila Panikkar’. The traditional belief is that St. Thomas came to Kerala in A.D. 52 and established Christian community in Kerala . The first church built by St. Thomas was at Kodungalloor. It is situated on the banks of river Periyar and was the major port in Kerala at that time. In 1341, a flood changed the flow of Periyar which resulted in the ruin of Kodungalloor and formation of Cochin port. People who lived on the Northern part of the river who were converted by St. Thomas, engaged in marriage with the natives. The Christians from Persia came under the leadership of Knai Thomman and settled on the Southern part of the river in the year 345 A.D. The Northern and Southern groups migrated to various parts of Kottyam District. The Northern group who moved to Pakalomattam and Kuravilangadu settled in the fertile areas of the district ie. Ramapuram, Pala, Bharananganam, Aruvithura etc. At that time Ramapuram was under Vadakkumkoor rule with its headquarters at Kaduthuruthy and Vaikom. Ramapuram area was under a branch of Vadakkumkoor, which ruled the area with its centre at Karikode – Thodupuzha. Gradually Vadakkumkoor’s control over Ramapuram became weak and a branch of Thekkumkoor (Edathil Swaroopam) with its centre at Vellilappilly took over Ramapuram. The headquarters of Thekkumkoor kingdom was at Nattassery, Kottayam. Edathil Thampuran and his ‘Janmies’ adopted a liberal policy towards the Christians of Ramapuram. Thampuran appointed a Christian from Cholappilly family as his minister and that was a great recognition to the Christians. In 1450 a church was constituted at Ramapuram in the name of Blessed Virgin Mary. The land required for the church was given by a land lord, Karokkal Kaimal. In 1460 the church was modified with a newly built altar. On 28thAugust 1599 Menesis Thirumeni who was the Arch Bishop of Goa, laid foundation to the present church. The church was the renamed after Saint Augustine under the influence of the Arch Bishop who was a member of The Augustenian congregation. It is the first church in Kerala named after St. Augustine. The influence of Portuguese style is reflected in the construction of the church. In 1864 a new church was built in the name of Karmalamatha and in 1957 the ‘Kurisupalli’ was built. The old and new churches are considered as historical monuments which are to be protected according to court judgments. In 1950, by dividing Changanacherry diocese, Pala diocese was formed. There were five forane churches in Pala diocese. They were Ramapuram, Pala, Muttuchira, Kuravilangadu and Anakkallu. A few more churches were raised to parish churches. At present there are sixteen parish churches under Ramapuram forane church. Many of them are ancient churches with rich heritage.
LOCAL CHURCHES
1. St. Augustine’s Church, Kadanad
In 1630 a chapel was built and in 1760 it became a special parish church. The church building was modified many times. There are many educational institutions namely St. Sebastian’s Higher Secondary School, St. Mathews L.P.School etc. The main festival of the church is celebrated on 15th and 16th of January.
2. St. Mary’s Church, Manathoor The church was established in 1910 and in 1928 it became a parish church. The L.P. School started in 1908 was raised to a U.P school and later to a High School.
3. St. John’s Baptist Church, Pizhaku It was established in 1878 as a church of ‘Sisma Sabha’. Ramapuram church bought it and in 1954 it became an independent parish and in October 1954, the construction of the new church was completed.
4. St. John’s Church , Ezhacherry It was established in 1897 as a ‘Kurisupally’ of Ramapuram Forane Church. In 1955 it became a Parish. The construction of the present church was completed in 1967. A primary school was started in 1916. Important celebration is the feast of St. Sebastian.
5. St. Sebastian’s Church, Kondad It was started in 1960 as a ‘Kurisupally’ and later it became an independent parish. The construction of the new church building was completed in 1978. The main feast celebrated in the parish is the feast of St. Sebastian.
6. St. Thomas Church, Aimcombu It was established in 1982 as a prayer centre. In 1995 it was raised to the status of an independent parish. The present church building is built in modern style and it was blessed on December 18, 2002.
7. St. Thomas church, Neeranthanam It was established on 3rd July, 1897 and became an independent parish in 1909. In 1917 the church was modified and it was rebuilt recently. The LP School started in 1916 was raised to the status of a UP School later.
8. St. Mary’s Church, Poovakulam It was at first started as a small prayer centre in 1966 and later became an independent parish.
9. St. Sebastian’s Church, Kurinji On 17th February 1955 started in a temporary shed. On the completion of the church building in 1957 it became an independent parish. There is a chapel at Idiyanal junction and the church runs a Lower Primary School.
10. St. Pious Church, Amanakara Amanakara monastery an institution of CMI Congregation is not a parish. But it is a spiritual centre that conducts holy mass and other activities as in a parish church. Associated with the monastery there is the famous Chavara International School, Amanakara.
11. Perpectual Adoration Chappell
In the North East side of Ramapuram church yard there is the Perpectual Adoration Chapel, built in 2003. Its construction was aimed at providing facilities for individual meditation and prayer. It is the first chapel of this kind in the diocese of Pala. Since the facilities of the present church is not adequate for the parishners, the construction of a new church is taken up by the parish. It is expected that the new church will be one of the biggest catholic churches in India. In Ramapuram, related to many churches there are convents for sisters. With their leadership schools, orphanages, old age homes, employment training centres etc. are functioning. These convents are giving selfless service to the society and are centres of spiritual activities. A vast majority of the Christians in Ramapuram belong to the Pala diocese. Knanaya Catholics under Kottayam diocese are living in the Western part of Ramapuram. There is no information regarding the existence of Muslim community in Ramapuram Panchayat. Thus various divisions of Hindu and Catholics constitute the people of Ramapuram. An important point to be stressed is that it is a place with no religious conflicts and people live in perfect harmony and peace. The contribution of Christian Community is very important in the economic, educational, cultural and sports fields of Ramapuram. They are role models in the area of agriculture and trade and remind others the dignity of labour. They were very faithful to the Zamindars and through cultivation of crops like ginger, rubber etc. contributed to the economic growth of the area. Now the income generated through rubber cultivation has caused them to flourish. The land reform laws were in favour of the agriculturists. The hardworking Christian Society could realize the importance of agricultural land. In the field of education, the leadership given by the diocese and parish churches are remarkable. All important educational institutions in Ramapuram were established by the initiative taken by Ramapuram Forane church and the neighbouring parish churches. This helped in the inter-cultural development. Christians showed the path of attaining higher education from outside. The first degree holder, George Thomas Kunnathettu gained degree from Trissinappilly. The Ramapuram parish appreciated the achievement of K. Kuriakose Thottumkal, the first M.A. degree holder. The present town developed under the leadership of Ramapuram Church. Land and facilities for the hospital and many other government offices were provided by the church. Formerly the Ramapuram temple junction was the centre of activities. The road to Pala was through temple junction –Pulparamukku- Chakkampuzha (1864). Ramapuram - Pizhaku road was made in 1874 and in 1926 Pala road was modified by constructing a bridge at Puthuveli. Pala – Ramapuram- Koothattukulam road is one of the shortest routes for Sabarimala pilgrims from North Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. The first business firm in Ramapuram was the company peedika started in 1910 by Mundackal Ouseph Mathew and Ulahannan Mathew. Nellikkatheruvil Thommi used lorry on the road for the first time. The Christian society contributed a lot for the setting up of the co-operative bank, administration of Panchayat etc.
TEMPLES IN RAMAPURAM A number of temples and ‘Kavs’ reflecting Hindu Worship is an important feature of Ramapuram. Most of these temples and kavs are devi temples. Later on Siva-Vishnu temples were built along with these temples, which have become more prominent today. ‘Kavs’ reflecting nature worship also maintains their ancient purity. The idol installations in the temples are the concrete forms of the divine power which is the cause of the universe. The construction of Sree Rama Temple is an important event in the medieval history of Ramapuram. A number of Brahmin families from Outtathoor, near Triprayar settled here. They constructed the temple at Ramapuram, in the model of Triprayar Sree Rama Temple. The glory of these Namboothiri families reflect on the location and construction of the temple. Koodappulam Lakshmana Swami Temple, Amanakara Bharataswami Temple and Methiri Satrungna temple were built after a short period. The ‘Kavs’ adjacent to these temples are very old. It is only possible to arrive at certain historical conclusions regarding the period of temples at Ramapuram. It is believed that the temple at Kodungalloor is the oldest temple in Kerala. The first phase of its construction may be in the first century A.D and the present temple is the result of modification and construction activities at various phases. Cave temples were built from the 8th century onwards. Thiruvanchikulam temple was built in the 9th century. Edicts show that it was donated in the 11th century, after 195 years of its construction. From 11th to 14th centuries many Siva-Vishnu temples were constructed in Kerala. During this period many Buddha Viharas were converted into Hindu temples. Between 1300 and 1700 also many temples were built in Kerala. Evidences show that Triprayar Sree Rama Temple was built in the 12th century. Based on this assumption, it is concluded that Ramapuram Sree Rama Temple was built at a later period. The Koodappulam Lakshmana Swami Temple was built by Kanjirappally Namboothiri families. At present with their permission the activities of the temple are carried out by the N.S.S. Karayogam. Recently the temple and surroundings were beautified and modified to meet the requirements. Amanakara Bharathaswami Temple was built by the Punam, Puthiyidam and Thamaramangalam Brahmin families and now it is administered by a committee of people. Methiri Satrunghna Swami Temple belongs to Kondamaruk Brahmin family.
NALAMBALA DARSANAM The Temples of the four Vaishnava devas - Sree Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Satrunghna are situated in Ramapuram Panchayat at a distance of 3 to 4 kms. Visiting these four temples in the same day before Noon Pooja or in the evening is the famous Nalambala Darshnam. There is no such a place in Kerala where a temple dedicated to Sree Rama is situated in such prominence with temples of his three brothers around him. The visit starts from Sree Rama Temple and followed by Lakshmana Temple, Bharata Temple, Satrunghna Temple and the visit ends after returning to Sree Rama Temple. All days in the month of Karkidaka and Sundays in other months are considered as auspicious for the visit. This darsana has brought in Ramapuram the status of a pilgrim centre. There are about 40 centres of Hindu Worship in Ramapuram. They are the following : 1. Ramapuram Sree Rama Temple
2. Koodappulam Lakshmana Temple
3. Amanakara Bharata Temple
4. Methiri Sathrunghna Temple
5. Palliyampuram Mahadeva Temple
6. Vellilappilly Saktheeswara Temple
7. Kondadu Sasta Temple
8. Erattachira Ayyappa Temple
9. Kurinji Sreekrishna Temple
10. Kizhathiri Maliyakal Narasimha Temple
11. Elamkavumattom Viswakarma Temple
12. Kondadu Balasubrahmanya Temple
13. Kondadu Gurudeva Temple
14. Kurinji Subrahmanya Temple
15. Methiri Kondamaruk Sree Porkali Temple
16. Vellilappilly Karthyayani Temple
17. Koodappulam Devi Temple
18. Ezhacherry Bhaktananda Asram Sree Bhadrakali Temple
19. Erattachira Devil Temple
20. Aincombu Parekavu
21. Ezhacherry Kavumpuruth Kavu
22. Kizhathiri Chirakkal Kavu
23. Edakkoli Poovapparampu Bhagavathi Temple
24. Kondadu Vadekke Kavu
25. Kondadu Kokkarathi Kavu
26. Amanakara Urumbi Kavu
27. Vellilappilly Puthen Kavu
28. Ramapuram Mutharamman Kovil
29. Kizhathiri Dandunthalakal Bhagavathi Temple
30. Ramapuram Kannattukavu
31. Kurinji Vanadurga kavu
32. Themalakkulath Bhadrakali Temple
33. Edakkoly Kavukkatt Vanadurga Temple
34. Ramapuram Elamkavu
35. Ramapuram Gurumandiram
36. Ezhacherry Gurumandiram
37. Kizhathiri Gurumandiram
38. Kondadu Pathee Temple
39. Kondadu Keerippatt Sarppakavu
40. Kurinji Kuzhikandam Sarppakavu
Besides there are many family worship centres in various parts of Ramapuram. Palliyampuram Mahadeva and Vellilappilly Sakthee Swara temple are the two oldest temples in Ramapuram. It is believed that the Palliyampuram Siva Temple was a place of Buddha. In Kerala many examples are historically established for the transition of Buddha worship centres into temples. If so Palliyampuram might be perhaps the most ancient place of Worship in Ramapuram. Saktheeswaram, the faith of arthanareeswara is also older than the Vaishnava temples in Ramapuram. Though Ramapuram was a part of Vadakkumkoor, Edathil Thampuram of Vellilappilly was a Samantha of Thekkumkoor (of Edathil Rajaswaroopam) whose headquarters was at Nattassery, Kottyam. At the end of the glorious period of Edathil Thampuram, Saktheeswara and Karthyyani Temples became weak. The decline of the Buddha vihar in Kondadu Pallikkandam may be related to the construction of Sasta Temple at Kondadu. Sasta Temple, built with the co-operation of local leaders was enrolled under Vadakkanmana. Sree Porkali temple of Kondoor Illam is well known even in far away places. The Devi Temple at Erattachira may be 1000 years old. Ayyappa temple of Erattachira was only founded later, ‘chira’ means natural lake or pond and there is a ‘great bath’ even today. Edakkoli Poovapparampu temple was established by Pallott and Madavana families. Kavukatt Vanadurga temple is of Kozhanal family and Kurinji Sreekrishna temple belongs to Kuzhikandam family. In Kurinji Vanadurga temple, the ‘thalappoli’ is taken by men. It is the only temple where men take the ‘talam’. Vellilappilly Karthyayani temple, Sakthi Swaram, Puthenkavu Devi temple are the three temples in Ramapuram which comes under Travancore Devaswam Board. Ramapuram, Amanakara, Koodappulam etc. are Oooranma Devaswam temples. There are temples undertaken by temple protection samitis also. About one dozen temples are administered by Karayogams. Ezhacherry Bhaktananda Asram is under the central administration of NSS. Guru mandirams and Balasubramania Gurudeva temple, Kondadu are administered by the branches of SNDP. Temples and Kavs’ in Ramapuram were established in densely populated areas. Koozhamala, Pazhamala, Kuruvankunnu were hilly areas where wild animals lived. There are no temples in these areas. The geographical features of Ramapuram with hills and valleys are suitable for human settlement and agriculture. The temples and kavs in Ramapuram illustrate the life style and culture of people in Ramapuram.
CELEBRATIONS The birth anniversary of Travancore Maharaja was celebrated with pomp and glory. The feast of Christuraja was also celebrated under the leadership of local churches and Sunday schools. Now there is a cultural procession during Sree Narayana Jayanthi around, Ramapuram. For Sreekrishna Jayanthi ‘Sobha Yatras’ are being organized every year at various parts of the Panchayat. The festival of the church is a grand event at Ramapuram, when large number of people gather in the church and the maidan and participate in the celebrations with great enthusiasm. The city would be beautifully decorated for the festival on 31st December and 1st January. At this time people who had migrated from Ramapuram to Malabar and High Range return to their native place. As it was the first church in the name of St. Augustine, pilgrims from Cochin used to come here by bus and on foot. The church ground and roads are filled with people, hawkers, illumination, fireworks, procession, holy rituals etc. were all attractive and colourful memories of church festival. A special offering to saint was ‘Puzhukku Nercha’ to get better crops from cultivation. The ‘Puzhukku’ prepared with all the crops is distributed among poor and needy. Today the church festival celebrations have changed a lot. The feast of St. Augustine, celebrated on August 28th is also an important celebration. The church festival related to Blessed Thevaruparambil Kunjachan is an important event attracting large number of people belonging to different religions. People even from faraway places come to participate in holy functions. On October 16th every year we see an increasing trend in the number of pilgrims who attend the function. The steps to declare Kunjachan as a saint is in progress. Thus Ramapuram church is changing into an important pilgrim centre. The utsav of Ramapuram Sree Rama Temple is celebrated in eight days starting from ‘Chodinal’ in the month of Meenam. The programmes include Kathakali for five days, sangeethakacheri, dance, Kathaprasangam, Ottanthullal, fireworks etc. Elephant ‘ezhunnallathu’ during day and night, various vadyams, temple poojas etc. continues to provide a feast both for eyes and mind. At present the Utsav is celebrated giving more importance to temple ceremonies than cultural programmes. During Siva Ratri utsav the ezhunnallathu from Ramapuram town to Palliyampuram temple attracts people from all walks of life. Many temples in the panchayat celebrate mandala mahotsav. Programmes like drama, dance, sangeetha kacheri etc. will be there in addition to the temple ceremonies. The utsav of Mutharamman Koil is on ‘Pathamudaya’, special stage programmes are arranged at the temple junction. The festival season of Onam abounds with art and sports competitions, socio-cultural and religious programmes in all areas of Ramapuram. In all such programmes people take part with great interest, despite the differences of class, colour, caste or creed. It can be rightly said about Ramapuram that it is still a land under the reign of ‘Mahabali’.
PLACES IN RAMAPURAM The history of Ramapuram will be complete only with a reference to the history of the places here. Geographically these places are related to Ramapuram town and people in these areas always like to be a part of Ramapuram Panchayat. The places like Marangad, Vellilappilly, Ezhacherry, Chakkampuzha, Edakkoly, Kondadu, Koodappulam, Amanakara, Mundakappalam, Kizhathiri, Methiri, Pazhamala, Palaveli, Mullamattam, Kurinji are situated around Ramapuram town. These names are not based on panchayat wards. Each of these areas are with school, libraries, post office, temple, church etc. Ezhacherry, Marangad, Vellilappilly, Mullamattom etc. are the most fertile areas of Ramapuram. The water from Ramapuram area flows through streams like Puthuvely and Arattupuzha. Ramapuram is surrounded by hills on almost all sides, namely Koozhamala, Pazhamala, Kuruvankunnu, Kurijnikoompan, Valakkattukunnu and Fathimagiri. The names of these places show Dravidian influence. The names Kurinji, Kuninji, Methiri etc. means ‘Malavaram’ and they suit well with their geographical features. In the name of places like Koodappulam and Mundakappulam there is ‘pulam’ meaning ‘vayal’. If Marangad is kad of marams, Vellilappilly indicates a place of ‘Kuttikkadu’. Kizhathiri is thazhvaram and Edakkoli is valley between hills with abundant water sources. On the whole, Ramapuram with its fertile land, abundant water sources, favourable climate, hills, valleys and paddies is now changed into a land of rubber cultivation. There are places like Kuruvankunnu, Kurinjikoompan, Kottukaramala, Vellianchirappara, Paruthanmala and Fathimagiri which can be changed into tourist centres.
RAMAPURAM PANCHAYAT It was during the regent administration of Sethulekshmi Bai in 1926 that Grama Panchayats were introduced in Travancore. Later on village unions were introduced at important places including Ramapuram. In 1953 elected Panchayat samities came into existence for the first time. At that time Ramapuram was a part of Thiru-Kochi. Election to the Panchayats were carried out in 1953, 1963, 1979, 1988, 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010. All these elections were conducted in Ramapuram Panchayat also. Administration Committee, 1953 1 S. Balakrishanan Nair, Pallattu (President) 2 K. A. Auguthy, Edakkara Cheenkallel 3 K. V. Joseph, Kaniyarakath 4 T. M. Joseph, Thergumpillikunnel 5 K. M. Joseph, Karakkatt 6 P. O. Joseph, Puthiyidathuchalil 7 K. J. Raman Namboothiri, Karanattumana 8 Konthi, Kariyathumpara 9 C.Krishnan, Chamakkalayil 10 M.G Krishnan Nair, Mudiyatt 11 K.C. Varghese, Keeramchira 12 Augusthy Vaidyan, Allumpurath P. S. Padmsnsbhan Nair (Appu) Pazhumadathil became the committee member through by – election after the resignation of K.J. Raman Namboothiri. Administration Committee, 1963 1. N. C. Joseph, Nedumkunnel (President) 2. K. Gopalan, Kuzhivelil (Vice Presedent) 3. P. O. Joseph, Puthiyidathuchalil 4. T. J. Joseph, Mundackal 5. Thomas Chandy, Kavaliyel 6. K. C. Thomas, Puthenpurayil 7. A. N. Raman Nair, Varickanal 8. G. Kunju Raman, Pulinchuvattil 9. C. T. Scaria, Cherunilathu 10. C. J. Joseph, Cherunilathu 11. Narayan Pillai, Poovathinkal, Kalappurackal From 29.09.1965 onwards Augustine A Edakkara became the committee member to the vacancy after the resignation of T.J Joseph, Thankamma Ulahannan was nominated as lady member from 12.10.1965 onwards. Administration Committee, 1979 1. P. J. John, Puthiyidathuchalil (Preseident) 2. K. N. Ramachandran Nair, Kaippanavayalil ( Vice President) 3. K. R. Krishnan Namboothiri, Kunnoormana 4. T. J. Joseph, Mundackal 5. G. Kunju Raman, Pulinchuvattil 6. C.J. Joseph, Cherunilam 7. N. D. Kuriakose, Uppumakkal 8. O. M. Scaria, Oliakkattil 9. M. V. Thomas, Maliakal 10. M. G. Bhrathiamma, Mudiyatt 11. K. S. Krishnan, Madukkakuzhiyil Administration Committee, 1988 1. P. J. John, Puthiyidathuchalil (President) 2. Aleyamma Thomas Mittathanickal (Vice President) 3. K. A. Thomas, Kolathu 4. Thomas, Parathazhathu 5. T. K. Devasia, Theruvathu 6. Thomas Scaria, Thevarkunnel 7. M. P. Sivasankaran Nair, Mandapathil 8. K. A. Gopi, Illimoottil 9. K. Narayanan, Krishnathadathil 10. P. Mariyamma, Kaithamalachalil 11. M. R. Balakrishnan Nair, Koovakkatt Administration Committee, 1995 1. V.C. Chacko, Vattukunnel (President) 2. Mukundakumar Madhavan Nair (Vice President) 3. Jose Scaria, Nedumpillil 4. P.J. John, Puthiyidathuchalil 5. Joseph Zacharias, Mundackal 6. Mathachan John, Puthiyidathuchalil 7. Sobha Sathyaprakash 8. T.K. Devasia, Theruvath 9. Molly Peter, Kulakkattolickal 10. T. P. Chandran, Thoomattathil 11. Daisy Baby, Uzhuthuval 12. K. J. Sreedeviamma, Puthuppallil Administration Committee, 2000 1. Sujatha Mukundan (1 year, First lady President) 2. Molly Peter ( 2 Years, President) 3. Selly George ( 2 Years, President) 4. V. A. Jose, Uzhunnalil ( 3 Years, Vice President) 5. Joseph Zacharias (2 years , Vice President) 6. M. K. Ramakrishnan Nair 7. K. N. Raghavan 8. Lissamma Mathachan 9. Jayachandran, Keepparamalayil 10. Adv. Vincent Cherian 11. Roy Mathew, Elippulikkatt 12. M. R. Sajimon 13. Alphonsa Jacob 14. Lissy Baby, Mulayinkal 15. Salim Kunjuraman, Pulinchuvattil (died in office) Administration Committee, 2005 1. P. J. John, Puthiyidathuchalil (President, 2 years) 2. Roy Mathew, Eluppulikkatt (Presedent, 2 Years) 3. K. R. Krishnan Nair (President, One year) 4. V. C. Chacko, Vattukunnel (Vice President, 2 years) 5. P. J. Mathachan, Puthiyidathuchalil (Vice President, one year) 6. Elsamma Cherian (Vice President, 2 years) 7. Bindu Surendran 8. Mini Sunny 9. Benny Abraham 10. Jeenas Nath 11. Jessy Raju 12. K. G. Ravindran 13. Soumya Shibu 14. K. K. Santharam 15. M. P. Krishnan Nair 16. M. M. Mukundakumar 17. Shiny James Administration Committee, 2010 1. Molly Peter Kulakkattolickal (President) 2. Mathew Abraham (Vice President) 3. Benny Abraham, Theruvathu 4. Biji Govindan 5. Baiju John, Puthiyidathuchalil 6. Lisamma Mathachan, Puthiyidathuchalil 7. Sunny Augustine, Porunnakottu 8. K. K. Santharam 9. Shiny Santhosh 10. Kanakalatha Salim 11. Johny Palliyaradiyil 12. Renny Joseph 13. Daisy Baby, Uzhuthuval 14. Shiny Shaji 15. Cherian Thevarkunnel 16. Benny Mathew, Kulakkattolickal 17. Savithri Raju 18. Ammini Thomas The local self governments gained more power through the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments and subsequent legislations. Afterwards four elections were conducted and the present governing body started its functioning November 2010. From 2007-08 financial year onwards planning and execution is going on in accordance with People Planning System. During last 15 years, there is remarkable progress in the production, service and infrastructural sectors in Ramapuram Panchayat.
LITERARY HERITAGE Ramapurathu Variar A number of eminent writers lived in Ramapuram who made remarkable contributions to Malayalam literature. Ramapurathu Variar was the pioneer among them. His famous work is “Kuchela Vrutham Vanchippattu”. Bhashastapadi, Noushadam Thiruvathirappatt, Ira Vana Vadam Thullam, Prabhatha Keerthanam are his other works. He was born in 1703 (878 Kumbham, 2) and died in 1759 (934 Makaram). His father was Amanakara Punam Illam Padmanabhan Namboothiri and mother was Ramapuram Varyath Parvathi Varasyar. He stayed at Variamparampil, near Sree Rama Temple preparing materials to the temple. In 1749 he went to Vaikom temple to see Marthanda Varma with Ravivarma of Vellilappilly Palace. They stayed at Thiruvananthapuram and returned to Ramapuram with the gift given by Maharaja. “Kuchela Vrutham” is an extra ordinary work in Malayalam literature. It was written during the period of Attakkathas and is not based on any previous works. Though it is the famous ancient story, by its spiritual attainment of selfless devotion, it has its own identity and originality. In the words of P. K. Parameswaran Nair, “these types of works are very rare in Malayalam literature which has artistic perfection, expression of ideas and relevancy”. “Kuchela Vrutham” is the only work that has made the poet immortal, the novelty of the work remains unaltered even after two and a half centuries. Govarnador Paremakkal Thommakathanar Paremakkal Thommakathanar was an important writer who lived in Ramapuram in the 18th century. He was born at Kadanad, near Ramapuram on 4th September 1734 and died on 20th March 1799. “Varthamanapustakam” or “Ente Romayathra” is one of the most important contributions of Thommakathanar. This is the first travelogue in Indian Languages. In October 1778 Paremmakkal Thommakathanar went to Rome with Dr. Kariyatti Joseph Malpan. They started from Chennai City and in July 1799 reached Lisbon, the Capital of Portugal and then to Rome to submit an application to the Pope. The submission did not get favourable response from the Roman Pontiff. While staying at Portugal Dr. Kariyath was appointed as the Bishop of Kodungalloor Diocese. After two years both of them returned to their native place and before reaching Kodungalloor Dr. Kariyatti was assassinated. On 1st May 1786 Fr. Paremakkal reached at Ramapuram and his experiences during the journey forms the great book “Varthamanapustakam”. In 1786 Paremakkal became the Govarnador of Kodungalloor diocese and Angamali was the centre of his administration. After 1794 it was shifted to Ramapuram. The journey from North Travancore through Kulachal, Udayagiri, Kottar to Chennai Town is explained very humorously. The important observations in the continents of Africa, South America and Europe were also explained in a style tinged with humour. The description of cities such as Lisban, Geneva and Rome are considered as the most beautiful explanations in Vartamanapusthakam’. The depth of his thought can be seen throughout the work. We can be proud of the fact that the author of such a work, very rare in Malayalam literature, belongs to Ramapuram. Lalithmbika Antharjanam Lalithmbika Antharjanam the mother of Malayalam Literature is a name that people of Ramapuram remember with great respect. She was born on 30th March 1909 in Kottavath Illam in Kottarakkara Taluk. She came to Ramapuram as the wife of Amanakara Illam Narayanan Namboothiri she came to Ramapuram. She died on 6th February 1987. Agnisakshi (novel) Therenjedutha Kathakal, Aadyathe Kathakal, Moodupadam, Thakarnna Thalamura (collection of poems) Seetha Muthal Sathyavathi Vare (criticism) are her important works. ‘Agnisakshi’ was awarded the Kendra-Kerala Sahithya Academy Award, Vayalar Award and Odakkuzhal Award (1977). Seetha Muthal Sathyavathi Vare received Kerala Sahithya Academy Award (1973). Her birth centenary was celebrated in the year2009 with various programmes under the auspices of Kendra - Kerala Sahitya Academy. In memory of Lalithambika Antharjanam literary awards are given on 30th March every year. Though many blessed poets lived in Ramapuram unfortunately their writings were not adequately collected and published. Thenganal Asan, Ponnamattathil Ouseph Mappila and Panachithanath K.P. Marar were among these unnoticed talents. The poem ‘Grand Vadyar’ by K.P. Marar, though printed, was not adequately published. N. Mohanan N. Mohanan, the son of Lalithambika Antharjanam was a famous writer, who made remarkable contributions to Malayalam literature. He was born on 27th April 1933 and died on 3rd October 1999. His important works are Innalathe Mazha (novel), Ninte Katha (enteyum), Dukhathinte Rathrikal, Poojakkedukkatha Pookal and N.Mohanante Kathakal (Katha Samaharam). Innalathe Mazha received Kerala Sahithya Academy Award. He acted as the Director of Department of Culture, Managing Director of the Film Development Corporation, Working Committee Member of Kerala Sahithya Academy etc. Based on his stories there was a television serial in Doordarsan named ‘Mohanadarsanam’. N Mohanan was a writer who showed a sense of belongingness to Ramapuram. Krishnan Parappilly Krishnan Parappilly the author of many poetic collections was born in Ramapuram on 21st November 1921 and from 1943 onwards settled at Bombay. Parameswarayyar Parapallimadam was his father and Parvathiammal, the mother. He has published about 25 articles Kavithanarthi, Navarekha (Kavitha Samaharam), Krishnaleela, Darsanika Chakravalangal (Subhashitha Mahakavyam with 1008 slokas) He has also written a number of ‘Geethakangals’ and English works. He was the editor of publications namely, Navasamhita Malarkula and Visala Keralam. He has achieved the Sree Krishna Ratnam degree and many awards like Changampuzha award, Maha Kavithrayam Award, Ramapurath Variyar Award and Kavya Saparya Suvarna Jubilee Award. Ezhacherry Ramachandran Ezhacherry Ramachandran, the famous poet, orator and news paper editor is a native of Ramapuram. He was born on 28th May1944. His father was Raman Nair and his mother was Kartiyaniamma. His famous works are Neeli, Kavadichinth, Akaleyengo, Idimuzhakkam, Kayyoor, Uyarum Njan Nadake, Thankavum Thymavum, Kedavari etc. He has received many awards like Abudabi Sakthi Award, Muloor Award, A.P. Kalakkad Award, Ezhumangalam Vamadevan Award, Asan Puraskaram, Nana Awards, Kerala Sahithya Academy Award etc. He has also written songs for films and drama and received awards from the state government. V. S. Kumaran V. S. Kumaran a novelist as well as a novel-short story writer, now working in New delhi is a native of Ramapuram. He was awarded the Mathrubhumi Patmarajan Award for the novel ‘Katputhali’. He was also awarded the Abudhabi Sakthi Award for ‘Shajahanabadile Vaidyam, a short story collection. C.R. Kesavan Vaidyar born in Ramapuram and later settled at Irinjalakkuda was a writer, editor and a cultural reformer. He was born on 26th August 1904 and died on 6th November 1999. His important works are Sree Narayana Chinthakal, Vicharadarpanam, Gurucharangalil, Prathyavu Shadha Vidhiyum Pradhama Chikilsayum, Palpu Muthal Mundassery Vare and Maryadarsikal. K. Kuriakose Thottumkal was a college lecturer and writer. Malayala Bodhanam was his important work. Prof. K. Ramakrishna Pillai was a college lecturer, astrologer and writer. His major works are Onnumuthal Poojyam Vare, Sankhyaka Nikhandu, Sample Survey, Samkhyakam Uparipadanathine and Ganithasastrathile Athikayanmar. Vidwan Joseph Paimpilly was an efficient teacher, connoisseur of literature, social worker and writer. He has written the biography of Alphonsamma. Vidwan P. R. Sankarapillai Pallatt was a resourceful teacher and writer Adarsadeepangal and Chinthavistayaya Sita are his famous works. Ramapuram Murali was a poet, orator and teacher. His important works are Parudeesayil (Kavitha Samaharam) and Vidyabhasa Manasastram. Besides many other outstanding personalities and writers are at Ramapuram who has contributed to the literary heritage of Ramapuram. They include D.C. Augustine Kachiramattam, Prof. M.G. Kesavan Menamparampil, Ramapuram Mani, Ramapuram Chackochan, Appachan Kakkozhayil, V.K. Kumara Kaimal, Thanooja S. Battathiri etc. There are others who showed excellence in criticism, public speaking etc.
EDUCATION Saraswati Vilasam Malayalam School, Edakkoly was the first School in Ramapuram. It was established in 1887 as an unrecognised institution, with Madavana Raman Nair as the manager. In 1909 the school became Malayalam middle school with seven standards. It was surrendered to the Government in 1920, in 1981 it became Government High School and in 2000 Government Higher Secondary School. The government L P School near Ramapuram temple was started in 1903 in the north vadyappura of the curuch. In 1960 it was transferred from the premise of the church to the Sreelakshmi Theatre building. Later on the school started functioning in the present place contributed by Ramapurath Variar Memorial Trust by constructing its new building. The Valyath LP School started with recognition in 1907 is one of the earliest educational institutions in Ramapuram. At that time only a few people were able to continue their studies at Edakoly Malayalam Middle School and Pala St. Thomas School. So most people discontinued their studies after the primary level. As a solution, in 1916 a Middle School was started in Ramapuram under the church leadership. Third forum was started in 1922 and in 1937 there started the fourth forum and became the High School. But in 1939 instead of starting the sixth forum, measures were taken to stop the high school due to the shortage of students and scarcity of infrastructural facilities. Then the school was under Muvattupuzha D.E.O and as per his special report the High School was cancelled. In 1950 St. Augustine’s High School became an important school in Ramapuram. The school showed excellence in curricular and co-curricular activities. It got first place in science for many times in the state. In 2000 the school became Higher Secondary School. North LPS, Ramapuram and St. Joseph’s School, Vellilappilly were started in 1915. In 1916 new schools were started at Chakkampuzha, Kondadu, Koodappulam, Amanakara, Kurinji, Neeranthanam, Marangadu and Ezhacherry. The establishment of more schools in the same year is due to the efforts made by the school inspector, O. M. Cheriyan. For this he appointed important persons and institutions in each place and motivated them. He also assured to allow grant for the schools. People in each area found out land and established schools and later surrendered it to the Government S.H.L.P.S. Ramapuram was established in 1922 and Sacred Heart Girls High School started functioning in 1949. The performance of girl’s high school was remarkable in the succeeding years. Most of the girls in Ramapuram had their high school education in this school. The school contributed a lot in the field of sports and games too. Govindavilasam UP School at Ezhacherry was started in 1930. At that time Public examination was in the 7thstandard and a pass certificate (VSLC) was the basic qualification for various jobs. Thus as in Edakkoly school, Ezhacherry G.V.U.P.S. also provided opportunity to large number of people to complete education and in getting employment. St. Joseph’s LP School and Government LP School Amanakara and Govt. LP School Kizhathiri were started in 1936 1957 and 1950 respectively. R.V.M.U.P. School, established in memory of Ramapurath Variar was started in 1957. This aided school managed by R.V.M. trust is performing successfully. The Sreekrishnavilasam U.P. School Kurinji was started in 1962. A number of unaided schools are functioning in Ramapuram in a better way. Alphonsa School is the first of this kind for more than 20 years. Chavara ICSC School, Amanakara is growing as an important school in Ramapuram. Higher Education institutions are not sufficient in Ramapuram. Mar. Augusthinose College, established in 1995 is a self financing institution. It is the only college in Ramapuram that provides job oriented degree and post graduate courses. The ITC, at Amanakara is not functioning now. More professional and other higher education institutions are to be established in Ramapuram. Though there were no colleges in Ramapuram educational facilities were available in the neighbouring colleges such as St. Thomas College, Pala, Alphonsa College, Pala, St. Stephens College, Uzhavoor, Devamatha College, Kuravilangad and Newman College Thodupuzha. There are quite a large number of people who qualified in the area of professional education like Medicine, Engineering, Law etc. It is a place blessed with comparatively large number of teachers. Persons who entered civil services and Ph. D. holders are many in the area. After completing nursing courses many are serving in foreign countries. Parents are ambitious of getting bright future to their children through human resource development and are always cautious of providing better education.
LIBRARIES The recognized libraries functioning in Ramapuram Panchayat are :
1. Ramapurathu Variar Memorial Public Library, Ramapuram
2. Saraswathi Vilasam Library, Edakkoly
3. Vinjana Poshini Public Library, Koodappulam.
4. National Library, Ezhacherry
5. National Library, Amanakara
6. Sarvodayam Public Library, Marangad
7. S.N. Public Library, Kondadu
8. Public Library, Kurinji
9. Public Library, Kizhathiri
10. Panchayat Library, Ramapuram
A number of good libraries have ceased to exist. They include T.P.V.M.M. Public Library, Kondad and Prakash Library, Idiyanal. Most of the libraries have completed fifty years of glorious functioning. Saraswathi Vilasam Library, Edakkoly is one of the oldest libraries in Meenachil Taluk. The R.V.M. Public Library started in 1948 is the first institution formed in memoriam of Ramapurath Variar. All libraries have their own buildings and large collection of books. The advent of electronic media has caused dent in the number of people visiting the libraries. The fact that many of the government employed can be attributed to the excellent academic standard of the schools. Due share also should be paid to the libraries and the reading public. It is encouraging to note that the rate of newspaper subscription in Ramapuram exceeds the state average.
ART People of Ramapuram are great counosseiurs of art, though they hardly find any time to perform it. Even in the absence of professional groups, the artistic talents were nurtured by the amateur ones. The presence of these groups motivated a lot of children to participate in the youth festivals. There was a Kathakali group at Amanakara. Organisations to train ‘Nagaswaram’, ‘Parichamuttukali’ and ‘Bantumelam’ are also available in various parts of the Panchayat. A band set programme was conducted at Muthuvalloorkunnel. Now the band set of S.H school is at par with any professional troop. Fireworks of Chakkankal group was famous and continued to be so till recently. Theatre artists, directors and TV Artists were there on amateur basis. The arrival of Jins Gopinath from Ramapuram as the finalist in Idea Star Singer Contest in Asianet was a great excitement to the natives of Ramapuram. Jins, the budding talent is a future prospect about whom Ramapuram can be proud of. Once there was a remarkable growth in the field of amateur drama in Ramapuram. The practice of writing and presenting drama by the local people themselves during local festivals was very common. Drama competitions were conducted in connection with libraries. There were artists in Kathaprasangam, though none of them became very famous. Now cultural programmes are the monopoly of electronic media. In many places arts and sports clubs are functioning and some of them are related to libraries. Progressive Arts and Sports Club, Kondadu have its own land and building and is functioning for more than 30 years ago. Most of these clubs are not functioning continuously. They become active during their anniversaries and Onam celebrations. The Town Club of Ramapuram which became famous by conducting cultural processions in connection with Onam celebrations is not functioning now. Syco Club, Amanakara also organized cultural processions. The Fine Arts Society, aimed at dramatic appreciation lead by Shri. T. J. Joseph functioned efficiently for 5-8 years. The Kurisupalli built in 1957 is an illustration of the architectural sense of the people of Ramapuram. Rajan Mundappilly needs special mention who built decorated stopas at the entrances of Ramapuram Sree Rama Temple and Kondadu Sasta Temple. At present there is no much importance to indigeneous arts and temple arts. Every year thiruvathira competitions are arranged at Ezhacherry temple. Traning programmes are arranged for Kathakali, Garudan Parava, Thalayattamkali and Margamkali. The declaration on the initiation programmes after studying classical dance and orchestra are evidences for the preservation of cultural heritage of the area.
SPORTS AND GAMES Ramapuram has a good tradition in the field of sports. In ancient times local traditional games took place in rural areas. People were trained in ‘Kalari’, Gymnastics etc. Kalaries of Vattukunnel Skaria and Puravakkattu Kuriakose were famous. Circus training was provided by Kulathinkal family. The volleyball team of Ramapuram maintained better position for a long time. Volleyball tournament was conducted at the state level under auspices of Athletic club, started in 1954. There were also professional teams for tug of war. In families like Udupuzha and Kottiri, there were many sportsmen and coaches to guide various games. Kochu Kurian is a name that deserve special mention. Physical training was concentrated on the two schools in Ramapuram. The sports athletes of the two colleges in Pala includes a number of boys and girls, who were from schools of Ramapuram. National level gold medalist ‘Suvarnabalika’ K. M. Selin, Salinath etc. are the contribution of S.H. High School. A good cricket team functioned at Kizhathiri ward. P & T Cricket Team 1996 state captain Sanalkumar, District athlets Manoj Kumar Gopalakrishnan Nair, Joshy John, Jeenus Nath etc. are some of the products of this cricket team. The Universal chess club was very active at Kizhathiri. State level chess champions were produced from the club. The football tournament conducted by Ramapuram Southern Club, Volleyball tournament conducted by white elevens etc underline excellence of Ramapuram in sports and games. Physical skill is the prestige of a nation. It is the speciality of sports to findout the best at national and international levels. Kottayam district has played a major role in sustaining Kerala as a leader in sports. Modern day sports calls for professionalism. Not withstanding the Panchayat mini stadium and the stadium of Mar Augusthinose College, Ramapuram lacks a multi-purpose indoor stadium and a swimming pool.
TRADITIONAL HEALTH CARE STYLES AND MODERN TREATMENT FACILITIES Ramapuram has a glorious tradition in ayurvedic treatment. Buddhism and Ayurveda are closely related. Many of the acharyas of ayurveda belong to Buddhist religion. While the vedic religion gave more emphasis to ritual sacraments Buddhism stressed sciences like ayurveda and astronomy. It may be from this tradition that traditional health care styles got priority in Ramapuram. Ayurvedic treatment was practised at Kondadu. Keerippatt for a long time. General treatment and special treatment for lunacy, epilepsy, and snake bite were given in a better way before 50 years. As a result there emerged ‘vaidyan’ families like Pandikkatt, Chullikatt, Kanikunnel, Illickal etc. The treatment tradition of Kondamaruku Illam is very famous even today. Though ayurvedic treatment has scientific aspect, the treatment is related more to belief. This element of belief is more evident in the treatment at Kondamaruk Illam. There were separate and specific families for treating various diseases. Vandannoor for marma treatment, Kariathumpara and Menamparampil for poison treatment, Kulathumkal for child treatment, Valummel for Jaundice, Kumbalth for skin treatment, Kattakkayam for abdomen treatment, Thozhuthumkal for animal treatment. etc. are traditional doctors and experts in their own fields till recently. They treated it as a service for which the masses paid with gratitude. In the field of allopathic treatment, government hospital, Ramapuram is the main centre. The hospitals at Ramapuram and Chakkampuzha lack in expert and specialized treatment. There is a Government Homoeo Hospital at Ezhacherry and a Government Ayurvedic Hospital at Idiyanal. Homoeopathic treatment is given by many private dispensaries also. There are private Ayurvedic treatment centres run by qualified doctors. For dental treatment well equipped clinics are functioning at Ramapuram. Ganakas who took astrology as an occupation were there in many areas. Ayyappanasan from Vaikom taught Sanskrit and astrology at Keerippatt, Prof. K. Ramakrishna Pillai was his student. P. Prabhakaran was also a noted scholar in astrology. Today astrology is a private occupation and many people are not ready to consider it as a science.
SOCIAL RENAISSANCE IN RAMAPURAM The first half of the 20th century was a period of rapid changes. Monarchy that existed for a thousand years came to an end. Social evils like serfdom, untouchability and marumakkathayam which existed in Kerala for over centuries were abolished. These changes took effect in Ramapuram also. The SNDP established in 1903 and NSS in 1914, influenced its social conditions. The branches of SNDP came into existence at Marangadu and Kondadu in 1927 and 1932 respectively. The first NSS Karayogam in Ramapuram was started at Kondadu and was graced by the presence of Mannathu Padmanabhan himself. KPMS Sadhujana Paripalana Yogam, founded by Ayyankali, though inactive during the earlier days has transformed into a more functional organisations like Velan Mahasabha and Paravar Society are also functioning in the respective areas. The All Kerala Catholic Congress is another organisation that is very active in Ramapuram. Communal issues have never bothered the residents of Ramapuram. Their functioning based on mutual respect has helped in strengthening communal harmony. They eliminated many customs and maintained certain others. These communal organisations have affected the lives of the people in a fruitful way.
ACTIVITIES OF NATIONAL MOVEMENTS AND POLITICAL PARTIES The developmental activities of Travancore Kings initiated social reforms inRamapuram. Pandarappatta Vilambaram was in 1865, during the reign of Ayilyam Thirunal. It was to provide ownership to the tenants on rented properties of Government. With this many tenants received land on fixed right. The Nair Act of 1925 during the reign of Sethulakshmi was to adopt Makkathayam instead of Marumakkathayam. In 1926 killing of animals were prohibited in temples under Devaswam Board. Poorappatt was prohibited in 1927 and Devadasi system in 1930. Grama Panchayats came into existence in 1926 with an order from the Queen and in 1953 elected Panchayat Samithi was formed. From Ramapuram C.R. Kesavan Vaidyar participated in the Vaikom Sathyagraha of 1924. People participated in the Nivarthana agitation and then in the Travancore state congress movements between 1932 to 1938. The names of Ponnamattathil Joseph Mappila, Thottumkal Kurian Ouseph, Mundakkal Ulahannan Mathew, Mishan Frenchu, C I Augusthy Cheenkallel, Joseph Keelathu etc. are to be remembered here. R.V. Thomas the first MLA and speaker of Travancore Legislative Assembly belongs to Cholappillil family in Ramapuram. The services of Venerable Thevarparambil Kunjachan to the weaker and scheduled sections was a silent revolution in Ramapuram. He attracted them to Christianity and provided opportunities for their social upliftment and progress. With the temple entry proclamation of 1936 November 12 there was the beginning of an age of equality. Here the services rendered by reverent fathers of Ramapuram viz Fr. Uthupp Attupurath, Fr. Alexander Chittadiyil, Fr. Andrews Pallivathukkal, Fr. Thomas Kuzhumpil, Fr. Manimaplan Kaniyarakath, Fr. Peter Valavanat, Fr. Joseph Kuzhumpil, Fr. John Aramchery are to be remembered Following the foot steps of many others, who acted as parish vicars also contributed to the progress of Ramapuram. The inception of Communist Party in Kerala in 1937 influenced Ramapuram also. Some of the important communist leaders were Ramapuram Gopi, Kavaliyel Kuriakose, Vidwan Joseph Paimpilly, P. S. Padmanabhan Nair, etc. Sri. M. M. Jacob is one of the most important leaders in the political history of Ramapuram. He was a union minister and member of Rajya Sabha, more than once. After his tenure as Meghalaya Governor, he is working as an active leader of congress party. The Political movements in Ramapuram has been greatly influenced by Shri. K. M. Mani, though he is not a native of Ramapuram. He worked as minister of various departments and MLA of Pala Assembly Constituency, which includes Ramapuram from 1965 onwards. Shri. E. M. Augusthy, former Peermedu MLA and the Congress leader of Idukki District is from Ellampuzha family in Ramapuram. Mr. Roshy Augustine, Kerala Congress MLA of Idukki belongs to Cherunilam family at Chakkampuzha. Shri. Joseph Vazhakkan, Congress MLA of Muvattupuzha is from Vazhakkamalayil family in Ramapuram. Mr. Baby Uzhuthuval, Kerala Congress General Secretary and many other leaders are from Ramapuram. V. K. Kumarakaimal is the District President and State Committee Member of Congress (S). The social environment in Ramapuram is rapidly changing as in other places of Kerala. The field of education has become competitive. Though there is an increasing trend of despising one’s mother tongue and culture, there is an advantage of global exposure and better living conditions. There is every sign to be positive, to hope that the future of Ramapuram will be safe in the hands of the youth.